Jul 04, 2012

Sindh: Organizations Issue Resolution Condemning Human Rights Violations

On the occasion of Sindhi Association of North America’s (SANA) annual convention, several Sindhi organizations united to issue a joint resolution on the human rights situation.

Below is an article published by The News:

In a joint statement the representatives of Sindh Progressive National Alliance (SPNA) as well as Awami Tehreek (AT), Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STPP), Sindh United Party (SUP) Sindhi Sangat Middle East (SSME), International Sindhi Women’s Organization (ISWO), Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF), Indus Peoples’ Forum (IPF), World Sindhi Congress (WSC), World Sindhi Institute (WSI), and Sindhi Sangat United Kingdom (SSUK), highlighted that the economic, political and social rights of Sindhis were being denied systematically. The 28th SANA convention concluded here on Sunday [1.7.2012]. Keeping the tradition of having two political leaders from Pakistan, the organization invited Dr Qadir Magsi and Ayaz Palejo this year.

The convention demanded that the government of Sindh should use all powers to keep a strict check on the activities of “a malevolent group of handful of immigrants who are conspiring to harm the territorial integrity of Sindh”. It further declared that any division of the province would be unacceptable, and demanded a fresh census under the supervision of an international body, stating that Pakistan state policies have been designed to render Sindhis into a minority in their own homeland.

The convention further asked the government to cancel the proposed “Zulfiqarabad project” saying that it negates all criteria for sustainable and judicious development and “will pose a further demographic threat to Sindh.”

The joint statement issued by the convention participants alleged that numerous Sindhi political workers and leaders were forcibly taken away, tortured and killed by Pakistan’s security agencies, and state supported non-state actors.

“This is creating fear, intimidation and harassment amongst all civil society. An impartial judicial commissions must be set up to enquire into all cases of target killings, torture and disappearances. The missing political activists must be produced immediately,” the statement said.

The participants - including known figures from Sindh, Ghulam Shah, Zulfiqar Halepoto, Shuhad Usto, Naseer Memon - said that Karachi has become a hotbed of ethnic violence and lawlessness destroying Sindh’s economy and political stability. They particularly condemned the massacre of 12th May 2007 and 22nd May 2012 in Karachi by a “known terrorist outfit” and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice. They said that army and federal paramilitary deployment in Sindh has deteriorated the situation.

The convention participants also asked for an immediate “Education Emergency” in the province and said “following 18th Amendment all governance issues of public sector universities should be handled by chief minister’s office rather than the Governor’s office.” The convention demanded that all the ethnic languages of the country i.e. Sindhi, Balochi, Pushto, Seraiki and Punjabi should be declared national languages.

The concluding session also remarked that Sindh has been deprived of its due share of water resources since the last five decades.

“This has shattered the agricultural economy of Sindh and has resulted in ecological devastation of the Indus Delta region. Even the Water accord of 1991 which went against Sindh’s interest, is being violated; and further dams and canals are being planned by the Government of Pakistan which will further reduce Sindh’s share of water from the Indus,” the resolution said demanding to cease all water appropriation policies.